DC Workplace Retaliation Lawyer
Asserting your rights as an employee should never be something that you are punished for doing. If discrimination, sexual harassment, dangerous working conditions, or other illegal practices occur in your workplace, it is often in everyone’s best interest for you to report any such incidents to the appropriate authorities.
Both federal and local legislatures recognize the importance of this issue, and employment laws at both levels prohibit employers from retaliating against you for coming forward to report wrongdoing.
At the Spiggle Law Firm, we are devoted to assisting workers in Washington D.C. enforce their rights under these labor laws. If you suffer retaliatory consequences in return for asserting your legal rights, a Washington D.C. workplace retaliation lawyer could help you determine whether your employer is liable to compensate you for your damages.
Forms of Employer Retaliation
Employer retaliation can take many different forms in Washington DC. If you are still employed with a company you reported on, retaliatory conduct may occur in the form of negative evaluations, demotions, pay cuts, or other disciplinary actions. Alternatively, retaliation may consist of wrongful termination.
Employer retaliation can also be present when your employer enforces a workplace policy that discourages you and other employees from asserting your rights. Although your employer has not necessarily taken affirmative action toward any particular employee in this situation, the existence of the policy may be enough to trigger liability for retaliation.
Retaliation vs. Permissible Discipline
The difference between retaliation and otherwise permissible poor treatment at work are the reasons and motivation behind your employer’s actions. The law does not protect lazy or incompetent employees from termination or prohibit negative feedback at work. Employers are generally at liberty to fire or scold workers who perform their job duties inadequately.
To be afforded protection from retaliation, you must be participating in a protected activity and the alleged retaliatory conduct must be a direct result of that participation. Determining whether retaliation occurred usually involves an evaluation of the events that occurred.
In particular, the timing of the protected activity in relation to the alleged acts of retaliation may be important. Legally actionable retaliation must occur in response to a protected activity, but your employer has the burden of showing that retaliation did not occur.
Protected activities include opposing or filing a claim alleging discrimination based on protected characteristics such as race, age, religion, sex and national origin; filing a claim for workers’ compensation; going on medical leave; requesting a reasonable accommodation for a disability; reporting unsafe working conditions; or reporting illegal activity.
Even if you are not the employee who filed a claim, you are still protected if you choose to support or become involved in such an action as a witness. Whistleblowers who disclose fraud against the government are also protected from retaliation.
Enforcement of Employment Retaliation Law
Both the United States federal and local District of Columbia governments have established agencies that are responsible for the enforcement of equal opportunity laws. At the federal level, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission enforces federal laws against discrimination.
Similarly, in Washington, D.C., the DC Office of Human Rights is the administrative agency that enforces prohibited discrimination. After you file a claim, mediation could follow as the next step toward resolving a case—or potential litigation, depending on the circumstances.
Reach Out to a Washington DC Workplace Retaliation Attorney Today
The Spiggle Law Firm has assisted many workers with all kinds of employment issues, including those related to unlawful retaliation against employees utilizing their legal rights. To find out if our firm is the right fit for you and your needs, click here for a free online case review by a skilled and considerate Washington D.C. workplace retaliation lawyer.